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Back Rank Mate Examples
Compiled by ChessCoachClark

The Back Rank Mate is one of the three most important mating patterns that a chess student should know. Further, it will be seen in every level of chess, even at the top (super) master level.

It could be said that Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess is a book that focuses on the Back Rank Mate. (The book is miss-named, as it does not teach the beginning information about chess, but it certainly shows how to improve your chess vision and chess thinking!) Read that book once you do know the fundamentals-- chess notation is not even used there, so it will be easy for you to learn from it. Bobby Fischer was the only player from the United States to become World Chess Champion and his book is among the top three chess books that I recommend to students.

Do your best to learn the Back Rank Mate. Look for opportunities to use it and avoid weaknesses in your position that might allow it to be used against you!

Also, be sure to learn it from both sides of the board and even in the two vertical orientations.

This game collection is a project in progress. Games are listed in date order, not in order of importance.

Continuation: 37 ... Rxf6 38 Rd8+ Qe8 39 Rxe8+ Rf8 40 Rxf8#
Bird vs Zukertort, 1886 
(A02) Bird's Opening, 37 moves, 1-0

Alekhine announced mate in four, ahead of time.
Alekhine vs A Frieman, 1924  
(C21) Center Game, 26 moves, 1-0

Game ends with Back Rank Mate
C Orbaan vs H Kramer, 1950
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 25 moves, 0-1

Continuation: 28. ... (any) 29. Re8#. No friends on seventh!
Averbakh vs Ragozin, 1954 
(A97) Dutch, Ilyin-Genevsky, 28 moves, 1-0

VERTICAL Back Rank mate is unstoppable! Kxa3 Ra8#
L Cooper vs Igor Ivanov, 1987 
(E43) Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation, 31 moves, 0-1

Black never gets the tempo to make a Back Rank Mate
J Trapl vs Jansa, 1987 
(D90) Grunfeld, 34 moves, 1-0

Queen Sacrifice in continuation brings checkmate with next move
L Deelman vs B Bleykmans, 1987 
(A80) Dutch, 39 moves, 0-1

Black resigned as there is no way to stop Qh8#, only delay it.
D Shapiro vs Silman, 1987 
(E11) Bogo-Indian Defense, 36 moves, 1-0

Continues 34. ...Rxg8 35 Rxg8+ Kxg8 36 Qa8+ Rc8 37 Qxe8#
Kharlov vs K Hulak, 1996
(B22) Sicilian, Alapin, 34 moves, 1-0

Continuation: 28. ... Nxc8 29. Qd8#
Judit Polgar vs Bareev, 1996 
(C18) French, Winawer, 28 moves, 1-0

Two Back Rank Mate threats at end; one is 41. Rxc5 Rxf1#
I Sokolov vs de Firmian, 1998 
(E32) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 40 moves, 0-1

22. .. Bc4! is the first of more Back Rank Mate threats
McShane vs V Mirumian, 1999 
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 24 moves, 0-1

Continues 33. ... Rxg8 33. Qxg8! Kxg8 34. Rd8#
Sutovsky vs O de la Riva Aguado, 1999 
(B31) Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation, 32 moves, 1-0

Game ends with first of more Back Rank Mate threats
I Berezovsky vs C Singer, 2001
(C01) French, Exchange, 32 moves, 1-0

Could continue 47. fxe3 Rf1# or material loss or mate very soon
Degraeve vs Vaisser, 2001
(B30) Sicilian, 46 moves, 0-1

29. Qe8+ begins line of moves with Back Rank Mate threats
D Liu vs J Isaev, 2001
(C91) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 31 moves, 1-0

Game ends with a Deflection tactic that allows Back Rank Mate
Xie Jun vs Seirawan, 2002 
(C10) French, 24 moves, 0-1

Back Rank Mate threat wins material as game ends
Topalov vs Morozevich, 2002 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 33 moves, 1-0

Continues 30 Rxf2 Ra1+ 31 Re1 Rxe1+ 32 Rf1 Rfxf1# Two Rooks!
M Timmermans vs N Hortensius, 2005 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 29 moves, 0-1

Last move is Discovery and Double Attack with Back Rank threat
M Velcheva vs H Puuska, 2007 
(C03) French, Tarrasch, 27 moves, 1-0

Back Rank Mate that's also a Lolli's Mate Type B.
R Swinkels vs C Bauer, 2007 
(B27) Sicilian, 38 moves, 0-1

If 26. .. Rxd7 27. Qe8+ Rxe8 28. Rxe8#
Aronian vs Gelfand, 2008 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 26 moves, 1-0

Queen makes the Back Rank Mate for the vertical orientation.
Agrest vs Axel Smith, 2008
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 43 moves, 1-0

Either side could make the Back Rank Mate; tempo for Black, tho
A G R Moen vs Topalov, 2013 
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 35 moves, 0-1

Trade, trade, then slam home with checkmate!
A Bullen vs J Fathallah, 2014 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 33 moves, 1-0

Continuation: 34 Nxh1 Rxh1#
K P Surya vs K Rathnakaran, 2015 
(C10) French, 33 moves, 0-1

Queen (sham) Sacrifice at end leads to Back Rank Mate
M Muzychuk vs Koneru, 2015 
(C45) Scotch Game, 29 moves, 1-0

Qxf8+ allows Rc8# after Kxf8 (or if Kh7, then Qg7#)
D Sadzikowski vs A Mista, 2017 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 46 moves, 1-0

28 games

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